Council workers sacked for misconduct

TWO Byron Shire Council staff have been sacked and three formally disciplined following an investigation into staff misconduct.

The council began an internal investigation into the conduct of eight staff earlier this year, following allegations of acceptance of gifts such as clothing and gift vouchers, and preferential treatment of suppliers with whom staff supposedly had relationships.

“As a result of the allegations an investigation plan was submitted to ICAC who entrusted council to undertake the investigation and agree to the process,” Byron Shire Council General Manger Graeme Faulkner said.

The most serious of the findings was that one worker received gift vouchers totalling up to $2000 over a ten-year period from a council supplier. Another staff member was founf to have received at least $300 worth of vouchers over a three year period. Both workers were terminated.

Three other staff were disciplined and three remaining staff were cleared of any wrongdoing.

Despite the finding that gifts had been inappropriately received, Mr Faulkner said the investigation had found no evidence of preferential treatment of suppliers due to friendship.

He said while the degree to which staff members personally benefited from the misconduct was relatively minor, it was not acceptable behaviour.

“It was disappointing to have had a small number of staff involved in this type of misconduct but the investigation process was positive and resulted in a number of recommendations for improvements being made and accepted by ICAC.”

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